Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines Share Their Secrets to a Strong Marriage: “Encourage One Another’s Strengths”

Chip Joanna GainesChip Gaines and Joanna Gaines appear to promote "The Magnolia Story" during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

They’re constantly fixing up their marriage! HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines shared how they maintain a strong marriage while working alongside each other on a daily basis and tackling various tasks in a high-stakes environment.

“Two things come to mind,” Chip told People this week, before cautioning fans that “this is really not for everybody.”

“Don’t feel insecure or try to force something if it’s not,” the Fixer Upper star opined. “The negative is if it’s not meant to be, don’t try to force it. It is not for everybody. And don’t worry about it that it’s not for everybody. Who cares? And then the positive is when you decide to go for it, just really weigh on each other’s strengths and try not to cross over into each other’s lanes.”

Chip provided an anecdote from the beginning part of his marriage. “I am a big creative by nature so I was always stepping in her universe, and I was always thankful she wasn’t micromanaging my side of the business,” he recalled. “But I would come in and have these bold opinions about everything.”

According to Chip, that went on for a year until he came to his senses. “I realized A: I wasn’t as good at it as I thought I was, so that was a problem, and then B: Why not let her really go for it in her way?” he continued. “And so Jo and I really have created boundaries to some extent… I am her biggest cheerleader when it comes to the things that she’s rocking and rolling in and vice versa in my category. Just encourage one another’s strengths and not be so particular that you constantly butt heads over it.”

Jo, then, chimed in and suggested spouses who work together perhaps solicit help from an outsider. “Get a mediator, get a designer,” she shared. “If you can’t figure it out bring in someone that will help so you don’t end up ending your marriage, and allow yourself room to make mistakes.”

If all else fails, laugh. “And a sense of humor is a big deal for us,” Chip noted. “We got lucky in that.”

The couple, married for nearly 14 years, live in Waco, Texas, where they’re raising their four young kids.

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.